The Second Law Of Thermodynamics A Refresher Course To Better Understand Your Heat Exchangers

Understanding is one thing. Knowing is another. This is the foundation that undercuts your purchase of Munters fuel oil heaters and heat exchangers.

Any business worth its salt wants to save as much money as possible while taking advantage of quality. That means being familiar with the very best equipment your industries have to offer…and knowing how to maintain them properly throughout the year. Failing to do so can put you out of pocket and affect the quality of your product, two details that can spell doom for any brand trying to stand out from the pack. Do you know the difference between your circulation heaters? How about being familiar with the function of heat transfer coils for many modern products today?

Knowledge is power. Here are a few important details you should know about Munters heating equipment and how to take care of them.

Start off your refresher course with a little update on how the industry is faring. Recent data has determined the heat exchanger market to be reaching an impressive $20 billion by 2021, at a CAGR of 8% or so, and even back in 2013 the revenue of boiler and heat exchanger manufacturing was steady at $7 billion. Businesses today are taking advantage of new metal compounds and advances in heat transfer technology to provide that elusive combination of affordability and efficiency. The chillers and heaters of today are light years ahead of what people had to work with a few decades ago.

Another good way to make sure your knowledge is up to par is to keep your vocabulary clear. The heat exchanger, at its most simple, is a piece of equipment used to transfer heat from one type of liquid to another. This can be used for anything from providing comfort in the home to supporting other forms of equipment. They can also be used to transfer heat between a solid surface and a fluid or between solid particulates and a fluid. Since different temperatures and thermal contact can have unpredictable results, the benefits of a heat exchanger mean maintaining a steady process throughout.

Not all heat exchangers are designed the same, either. The three types of heat exchangers available on the market are the parallel-flow (or counterflow configuration), the cross-flow configuration and the shell-and-tube configuration. A heat exchanger’s fluids passing each other more than once will have it dubbed a ‘multi-pass heat exchanger’. Fluids passing each other only once, however, and it will be called a ‘single-pass heat exchanger’. The parallel flow heat exchangers see both the tube side fluid and the shell side fluid flowing in the same direction, entering the device from the same end with a large temperature difference.

Let’s compare this with the cross-flow heat exchangers. These see one fluid flowing through tubes and passing second fluid around the tubes perpendicularly. The science behind this technology is very specific, which is one of many reasons you’re better off relying on certified brands instead of going with whatever’s cheapest. For the heat transfer to occur two fluids must be at different temperatures and they must come in thermal contact. Heat exchange involves convection in each fluid and conduction through the separating wall, as well. This is the second law of thermodynamics, after all, where heat can only flow from hotter to cooler fluids.

Your Munters equipment should be checked regularly and maintained properly. The very close proximity of these process fluids within a diffusion bonded heat exchanger core creates what’s known as an exceptionally high heat transfer rate, with these correspondingly high efficiencies going as high as 95%. They also allow close temperature approaches of up to 2oC. Seeing anything at low efficency should have you double-checking your equipment and seeing if any parts have eroded or become damaged. Whether it’s hot water storage tanks or pressure vessels, this small effort can have a big impact.

Are your Munters equipment up to the task? All it takes is a little extra knowledge in your back pocket.

Leave a Comment